The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to take a long break after a three-game stretch in a span of 11 days. The extra time to recover should come in handy when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8. Although the Steelers rank in the bottom half of the league in most meaningful offensive and defensive categories, they've managed to go 4-2.
The Jags will be traveling to Pittsburgh for this matchup. A win at Acrisure Stadium will ensure they enter their BYE with a 6-2 record, which would be the best one since 1999, when they started 7-1.
While this won't be an easy contest, both their offense and the defense have gotten better as the season progresses, so Jacksonville should feel good about their chances of extending their winning streak to five. With that in mind, here are three important plotlines for the Week 8 bout.
3. Can the Jaguars O-Line contain the Steelers duo of T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith?
T.J. Watt didn't have much of an impact as a pass rusher against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7. However, he came up with a huge interception that played an immense role in propelling Pittsburgh into victory.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor told the media Thursday that Watt is the kind of player teams must account for every play, and with good reason. The All-Pro outside edge rusher has already logged eight sacks this season. He isn't the only player the Jacksonville offensive line will have to worry about though. Alex Highsmith also excels at causing disruption up front. He had three sacks and a couple of stops against the Rams.
On the other hand, the Steelers' interior defensive line isn't nearly as good as penetrating the pocket without Cam Heyward, who was placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a groin injury in the opener. Prized free-agent acquisition Larry Ogunjobi has been mostly underwhelming while Armon Watts has been serviceable but not much else.
If Jaguars offensive tackles Cam Robinson and Anton Harrison neutralize T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, they should have no trouble getting the running game going and protecting Trevor Lawrence.